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to Harley Ellis Devereaux Thank you for your interest in Harley Ellis Devereaux and the professional design services we offer. We are one of the nation’s most experienced architecture and engineering firms, known for innovation, responsiveness and design excellence. We understand that our success depends on our ability to exceed your expectations. This booklet has been prepared to assist you in navigating the complexities of the design and construction process. We have focused on ten critical success factors, those key to achieving your goals. Whether this is a new responsibility for you, or one you have had for some time, we hope you will find this a valuable resource. Please feel free to ask questions or offer suggestions at any time. Design and construction is a collaborative process and we look forward to working with you as partners.

Our foremost focus is to help you achieve your goals. Architects and engineers plan, design and observe the construction of buildings, structures and sites. By marrying the manipulation of space, materials and technology, and the forces of nature, we are able to create environments that address your objectives, and fuel sustained success. Our work does include the more pragmatic aspects of design and construction, including budget, schedule and quality management. Our documentation, which will consist primarily of drawings and technical specifications, defines the physical and functional attributes of the building or structure in such a way that it can be constructed as intended.

every team needs a great leader The project manager is the “quarterback” of our design team, and will be your primary point of contact. They will guide the process, facilitate meetings, provide key information, and make sure the design team stays on track. The project manager will address issues related to scope of work, budget, schedule, quality, coordination with contractors and everything in between.

Communication is a key reason why projects go well, and when absent, the reason they don’t.

As the owner, you will want your own key project representative who will talk to the design team project manager on an almost daily basis. The design and construction process is complex and fast-moving. Having your own representative focused on the project will help you effectively support the design process, and also facilitate decision making by working with your stakeholders to reach consensus.


failure to communicate is not an option Regular communication between project team members is a key reason why projects go well, and when absent, the primary reason they don’t. The owner’s representative and the design team project manager are the primary conduits for communication. Protocols should be established that define what information is needed by whom, how it will be shared, who will do the sharing, and when. During the early stages of design, project communication will focus on making sure there is a clear understanding of the project requirements. As the design evolves, team meetings will provide status updates and the opportunity for the team to address specific issues. As the project moves into the construction phase, communication with the construction team and building officials will focus on supporting the construction process and verifying that your requirements are met.




Planning is the most important part of any project. It begins with a kickoff meeting, where the project team comes together to reach consensus on design direction. Allowing adequate time for this effort enables the team to efficiently work through the balance of the project.

Once planning is complete, the team is well-positioned to proceed with confidence.

The planning phase of a project will include a review of all project requirements and constraints, to allow the team to collectively consider the existing design opportunities. At this stage, discussions will likely include design aspirations, site development, sustainability goals, system approaches and level of constructor involvement during the design process. Once planning is complete, the team is well positioned to proceed, with confidence they are all on the same page.


treat it like your personal checkbook Accurate project budgeting is essential for two primary reasons. First, so that you have a clear understanding of the cost of your project, and second, so that the design team has a clear understanding of the project’s scope. Sharing your budget with the design team at the start of the project helps eliminate time spent redesigning to reduce cost (often termed Value Engineering) and the associated costs of that effort. When project budgets are incomplete or unreliable, you run the risk of unanticipated costs as the project evolves. Even when you believe you have identified all relevant costs, there may still be unforeseen items. Contingency funds should be set aside to address these without negatively impacting the project. We can assist you in determining an appropriate contingency plan, based on the complexities of your particular project.


people don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan


Once your project is underway, we will strive to complete the work as expeditiously as possible. It is important though, to recognize and understand the drivers of the project schedule, so that the process can be managed and an excellent result achieved. A comprehensive schedule includes both the design and construction phases of the project, right up to occupancy. The design process must embrace your objectives and requirements, and also support the intended construction process. Will the constructor be involved in the design process? What information does the design team need from you, and when? What is your process for periodic review of the design? The schedule must reflect all of these things, plus provisions for inclement weather, holidays, vacations, and other potential sources of interruption. Failure to provide adequate flexibility usually results in schedules that cannot be met and disappointment for the entire team.

Phasing is the execution of a project in multiple steps, rather than as one singular effort.


sometimes, you need all ten steps Phasing is a component of project schedule, but important enough to warrant its own discussion. Phasing is the execution of a project in multiple steps, rather than as one singular effort. This might be necessary to maintain building operations during a renovation or because the funding allocation extends over a longer period of time. Often times, the design of one phase involves some revision to work done in an earlier phase, so that all work interfaces properly. We can help you plan for this. Phased projects might shorten the overall construction schedule, but can potentially require more time and fee to design, and more cost to construct. Your project team wants to incorporate the necessary phasing into the overall design, so that the project can be completed with all operational requirements intact. It is difficult to introduce phasing requirements after the fact without cost and schedule impact.


time is of the essence


Whereas communication is about project team interaction, coordination is the positive result of such interaction. A building project brings materials, technology and labor together to meet your needs. The project team must likewise come together as one. They must work in concert to ensure that they are designing a fully integrated facility that functions precisely as you intended. The actions of one team member impact all team members. This is why we offer comprehensive architecture and engineering services in-house. Your design team should be committed to a collaborative work process that promotes on-going coordination and quick conflict resolution. Proper coordination shows itself during the construction process, in the form of fewer questions and conflicts. To you, that means faster completion and lower costs. Of course, no process is perfect, so you should expect some “field adjustments” during construction. With a full service approach like ours, all disciplines are represented, so you enjoy improved coordination plus a single point of contact for all aspects of the project.

Ensure a fully integrated facility that functions precsisely as you intended.


see the building before it’s built Building Information Modeling (BIM) refers to the process of developing a computerized three-dimensional model of your building or structure. Embedded design tools enable the team to extract pertinent project data without spending significant additional time. As an owner, you are able to visualize your new space long before you step foot inside. Constructors can use the model as a foundation for bidding, planning, coordination and installation, without having to redraw everything. Once the building is occupied, the model immediately becomes a tool to help strengthen your facility management program. Asking for a project to be delivered “using BIM” is not enough. You should provide the design team with BIM requirements specific to your particular project. If you don’t have existing requirements, ask us to provide recommendations. Because BIM is presently undertaken through evolving software packages, there is no “one size fits all” set of deliverables. Take care to get what you need without paying extra for what you don’t.


never a veneer, never an afterthought

serving the environment and your bottom line When we speak of sustainability, we are talking about environmental responsibility, energy efficiency and consideration for the next generation. There are many tools available to help create more sustainable spaces and understanding them all, and how to apply them, can seem overwhelming.

Net zero energy and carbon neutrality

There are three things to keep in mind when considering sustainability on your project. First, there is the cost of third party certification. Second, base-level certifications are achievable for most projects, with minimal premium cost. Third, it’s not enough to design buildings to be sustainable. They must perform as designed, and so proper maintenance and monitoring provisions should be employed to track actual building performance. Achieving real results requires commitment of the design team, constructors and the owner. Don’t forget to look beyond current convention when appropriate. Net zero energy and carbon neutrality are no longer just dreams, they are reality.

are no longer just dreams; they are reality.


partners, from start to finish We will strive to adhere to the terms and conditions of the agreement governing our professional relationship. Likewise, we know that you will strive to meet all of your obligations. We will assemble a design team that is appropriately experienced and available, and anticipate that your representatives will be similarly qualified. As an owner, you should not expect perfection. You should expect maximum effort, consistent with the standard of care recognized for the industry. You should expect that errors and omissions (yours and ours) will be addressed in a timely and cost effective manner, and that any unforeseen circumstances will be communicated immediately. You should expect prompt responses to your inquiries, and leadership from every member of our design team. This is our pledge to you.



Thank You

for putting your trust in us Please accept our thanks for taking the time to learn more about Harley Ellis Devereaux and our ability to serve your needs. We hope that this booklet will be helpful on current projects, and also serve as a valuable resource for the future. Remember that we are always available to provide insight and answer any questions that you may have.

advancing your world... by design

Owner’s Guide to Project Success  

Harley Ellis Devereaux - Owner’s Guide to Project Success

Owner’s Guide to Project Success  

Harley Ellis Devereaux - Owner’s Guide to Project Success